The Best Ride

It's 6:50 am on my first day of summer. 
I should clearly be a. asleep or b. if awake, luxuriating in the idea of not working for the next eight weeks.
But the truth is, I woke up with knots in my stomach. 
I miss my students. 
I have spent more time with these kids over the past two years of my life than with anyone else. 
There will undoubtedly be a great void in my heart and my life for weeks to come.

This group of students is literally the best ever. They are bright and witty and so, so helpful. They are kind and responsible. They love to learn, they love my stories, and they love to make me laugh.
And oh, how they have made me laugh every single day this year.

 They have shared so many of my recent adventures and accomplishments. They saw me get engaged, helped me reach my goal of teaching AAP, helped me tackle teaching a new grade level and have helped me plan my wedding (adorable). 
They have also demanded my most creative ideas and challenged me professionally.
Most importantly, they are the reason I have jumped out of bed and raced to work every. single. day. 

We came to school to work hard & play hard, and that we did.
I mean, we literally started each day with a dance party.
The joy in our classroom was so palpable that other teachers commented on it regularly. The 27 of us, in our little cocoon, shared the magical bond of joy.
The joy of learning, of taking risks, of trusting each other to do what's right. The joy of being liked for who you are, of pushing yourself, of leaving everything at the door except your best self.
My joy-filled classroom.

These kids are going to take on the world one day. 
I shared my Life List with them and dared them to create their own~ to dream big, and they have. They want to travel to all seven continents, to go to the Olympics, to skydive.
They want to be teachers and lawyers and doctors and chefs and President of the United States.
And they will be

So, Fourth Graders of 2013:
Teachers dream of having a class like you.
A class that inspires them, challenges them and reminds them of the importance of their chosen career path. 
You are that class for me.
I believe in you, I am proud of you, and I will miss you.
"Many leaves, one tree."

It has been The Best Ride.



The Big 3-Woah

(Written 4.9.13)
So... two days ago I turned 30.
The Big 3-Woah.
And after months of anxiety about how it would feel, it came, it went, and I conquered it :).
It sounds so weird.
In the past two days no one has asked me how old I am.
And for all I know, when it happens, I will pull one of those 'cough as I say the number' type deals so they can't understand me. 
But right this second I am so full of the joy that is still overflowing from this weekend, that there is simply no room for anything else.
If I had gotten over my anxiety long enough to think about how I actually wanted to spend my 30th birthday, this past weekend would have exceeded every single wish.
It was amazing.

The whirlwind began on Thursday afternoon when I got home from work to find this:
My friend Sabrina had realized that it was exactly four days until my birthday and four months until my wedding, and painted this sign herself!
How cool is that?

Then, before work on Friday, my third grade teammates surprised me with breakfast and a sparkly '30' tiara that I was made to wear all day :).
Later that morning, my classroom door swung open to reveal a group of my students' parents singing 'Happy Birthday' at the top of their lungs and wheeling in a cart full of homemade cake, cookies, balloons, flowers and cards from my students.
Little did they know they were walking in on my 
Vice Principal's formal observation of my classroom.
  It was amazing and SO hilarious. 

 When I got home from work, Chris had fully committed to the 'major birthday signage' Robinson family tradition by decorating the entire house with balloons, streamers and signs. 

He then revealed my first surprise of the weekend, which was that a secret crew of people were coming over and coming with us to the Legwarmers concert~ a fantastic surprise! Next thing I knew, my New York City-based brother was walking in the door (cue tears), followed by my friend Katie from Michigan and other local friends. 
We had a great night dancing our hearts out to our favorite 80s tunes.
On Saturday morning Chris told me that I didn't need to be ready for my next scheduled event until 7:00 that night, so we spent the day relaxing and exploring Georgetown. 
Before I started getting ready for the 'event' that evening, I asked Chris two questions: whether or not I should a. wear heels and b. curl my hair, both to which he answered yes. So I assumed we had reservations with my family somewhere for a nice dinner.
Why in a million years I ever thought that my family would do anything but go big or go home I have no idea, but what I walked into at 7:15 instead of family dinner was a 
HUGE SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!!! (Cue tears again!)

The party was Uh-May-Zing!
We're talking laughed 'til I was hoarse, danced 'til I was sweaty amazing.
I didn't wipe the smile off my face all night.
It was the absolute best.

Sunday was my actual birthday, and my final weekend surprise was that Chris had planned for my entire family to go on a Cherry Blossom cruise along the Potomac for brunch!
The boat and the food were both great, and the views of DC from the water couldn't have been better.

That night I ended my weekend with a low key pizza dinner at my parents' house with my family, Chris, and a couple of my friends. Of course we also dined on my annual birthday cake~ Baskin Robbins cookies and cream ice cream cake.
It was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect, exhilarating weekend.
Thank you again to my family and friends for showering me with unbelievable amounts of love this weekend and making this 'woah' birthday not so scary after all. You make me feel so incredibly loved every single day, and spending the past thirty years with you has been the
greatest joy of my life.



We are the Robinsons.
We are tradition and identity,
support and friendship.
We're roots and camaraderie, appreciation and affection.
We're reliance, acceptance, and sometimes slight dysfunction. 
We are thirty-five strong.
We are home, we are unconditional, we are forever, and we are

I am so proud to be a 
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